Regarded as one of the most breathtaking space in all of Beijing the Summer Palace is no ordinary royal edifice in the administrative capital of China. Spread out across a whopping 2.9 km2 this engaging space of historic record is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is frequented by thousands of visitors each year. Known as Yíhé Yuán in Chinese the venue is also one of the best preserved remnants of imperial China as the vast compound remains as it was in centuries past as a haven for Gardens of Nurtured Harmony as its name denotes. Providing nature lovers touring the city a breath of fresh air a visit to the Summer Palace is akin to exploring an expansive botanical garden set within a lush forest as the space is littered with natural and manmade hills, lakes and other bountiful attributes.
One of the Summer Palace’s chief highlights id of course Longevity Hill which towers above the surrounding landscapes at a staggering height of 60m. The scenic hill is in turn encircled by a multitude of pavilions, gardens and small halls while Kunming Lake is another point of interest revered by nature lovers. Sprawled across 2.2km2 the lake is a picturesque body of water and one of the must-experience highlights of the Summer Palace which has been declared a living ” masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”.
Other intriguing attractions within the confines of the palace include its elaborate Court Region which is home to the Hall of Joyful Longevity, Yiyun Hall and the Hall of Jade Ripples. Garden fanatics will enjoy a walk around the Garden of Virtue and Harmony which is located in the Front-Hill region where the Hall of Moral Glory, Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Baoyun Bronze Pavilion and Hall of the Sea of Wisdom are also found. The Revolving Archives are also tucked away within this area of the park which is also littered with idyllic bridges such as the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. The Suzhou Market Street and Nanhu Island are equally popular among tourists while the Pavilion of Bright Scenery and the Marble Boat are other regions frequented by locals and foreigners alike.
The Rear-Hill region in contrast contains several religious institutions including the Presence of Virtue Temple with its Garden of Harmonious Interests. The Four Great Regions are also found in this quarter of the Summer Palace as well as the Hall of Serenity and the Hall of Increasing Longevity.
Visitors in search of the best Beijing hotel deals this holiday season should look to the Grand Millennium Beijing for vacation packages in the Chinese capital. Offering guests the best in luxury accommodation and local hospitality this elegant Beijing hotel pulls out all the stops when it comes to unforgettable holiday experiences.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.